Income Loss Strategies
Last week, I talked about opportunities created due to spending less time out of our homes. As things have progressed though, more people are finding hours cut or work eliminated altogether. For many, this is something they have never experienced. The following are some strategies that will help you through this situation.
First, I suggest you deal with the emotion of the situation.
Scott Jurek, world renowned Ultra Marathon runner, has 4 stages he walks through when he faces adversity:
1. He lets himself worry – It is natural to worry and trying to deny natural feelings won’t let you move on to action.
2. Take stock. What is really required? Estimate likely outcomes – this situation will not last forever. Focus on:
· Available resources ie. Emergency funds, things you may benefit from selling, skills you may be able to make use of.
· Areas to downsize spending
· Communicating with your household – this will reduce stress and make everyone feel as though they are contributing to the solution.
3. Ask yourself what you can do to remedy the situation – This is where you focus on action. Prioritizing needs over wants, finding temporary employment, cutting non-essential items.
4. Separate negative feelings from the issue at hand – “Embrace the suck” - a saying most often attributed to the military - simply means you are making a conscious decision to accept the mission before you, even though it is extremely unpleasant. Once you realize the negative feelings don’t determine your ability to act, you have a foundation for progress.
So that is the emotional, what about the practical?
First, make sure you are taking advantage of benefits that you are entitled to:
· Do not hesitate to apply for unemployment if your situation qualifies
· Make sure you understand what your employer is offering to help during this time
Next, start to look for employment opportunities. Many delivery services and grocery stores are looking for help. Take advantage. Search Indeed or other job services for available positions.
Finally, prioritize your spending. Dave Ramsey calls it the Four Walls. If there is not enough money to meet all of your obligations, then these are the areas of focus:
Food Utilities Shelter Transportation
Once these areas are covered then you should have a written plan for the remainder. Take action – prioritize your remaining funds before the bills come.
If you do find yourself in a situation financially, it is best to face it head on and early. Letting your creditors know early on that there has been a change in your circumstances will go a long way. Ignoring the situation will make it worse. There are going to be many people who are affected by this. If you are regularly communicating with creditors and showing good faith, their focus will be much different.
Take Action Now–
Allow yourself to feel and then “Embrace the suck”
Review monthly spending – prioritize needs
Communicate with creditors and family
Find a way to use your skills and earn money in a different way
You will feel better when you take action and you will thank yourself when this is over. If you have questions regarding your specific situation you can send them to me through the Contact tab on my website.
I am praying that all who are affected will soon be able to return to their normal.